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Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?

katlaughing 12 Aug 06 - 04:17 PM
Bugsy 12 Aug 06 - 09:05 PM
katlaughing 12 Aug 06 - 09:29 PM
Bugsy 12 Aug 06 - 09:54 PM
Bob Bolton 12 Aug 06 - 10:13 PM
JohnInKansas 13 Aug 06 - 06:10 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 13 Aug 06 - 06:44 AM
JohnInKansas 13 Aug 06 - 07:50 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 13 Aug 06 - 08:36 AM
katlaughing 13 Aug 06 - 11:09 AM
Bert 13 Aug 06 - 11:28 AM
harpmolly 13 Aug 06 - 11:59 AM
harpmolly 13 Aug 06 - 12:03 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 13 Aug 06 - 12:04 PM
harpmolly 13 Aug 06 - 12:05 PM
Bert 13 Aug 06 - 12:32 PM
harpmolly 13 Aug 06 - 01:27 PM
Kaleea 13 Aug 06 - 03:34 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 14 Aug 06 - 07:32 AM
Grab 14 Aug 06 - 07:49 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 14 Aug 06 - 08:17 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 14 Aug 06 - 08:21 AM
GUEST,Val 14 Aug 06 - 02:59 PM
katlaughing 14 Aug 06 - 04:33 PM
harpmolly 15 Aug 06 - 12:28 AM
harpmolly 15 Aug 06 - 12:29 AM
harpmolly 15 Aug 06 - 12:30 AM
Gwenzilla 15 Aug 06 - 03:09 AM
Grab 15 Aug 06 - 07:28 AM
GUEST,leeneia 15 Aug 06 - 09:44 AM
katlaughing 15 Aug 06 - 10:34 AM
GUEST,Val 15 Aug 06 - 12:19 PM
katlaughing 15 Aug 06 - 12:25 PM
GUEST,Val 15 Aug 06 - 12:53 PM
GUEST,Val 15 Aug 06 - 12:55 PM
catspaw49 15 Aug 06 - 01:03 PM
katlaughing 15 Aug 06 - 05:42 PM
The Fooles Troupe 16 Aug 06 - 08:44 AM
catspaw49 16 Aug 06 - 09:01 AM
The Fooles Troupe 16 Aug 06 - 09:20 AM
The Fooles Troupe 16 Aug 06 - 09:22 AM
catspaw49 16 Aug 06 - 09:40 AM
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katlaughing 16 Aug 06 - 11:31 PM
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Subject: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: katlaughing
Date: 12 Aug 06 - 04:17 PM

In know, you get what you pay for, but I'd still like to know if anyone here has tried a harpsicle from Tasty Harps at the Harp Connection.

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: Bugsy
Date: 12 Aug 06 - 09:05 PM

What on earth is a harpsicle?


cheers


Bugsy


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: katlaughing
Date: 12 Aug 06 - 09:29 PM

whoops! Thought I'd put in the link; sorry about that. Here ya go CLICK, and thanks for asking, Bugsy!


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: Bugsy
Date: 12 Aug 06 - 09:54 PM

Interesting website Kat, I thought it was going to be some kind of candy harmonica!



CHeers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 12 Aug 06 - 10:13 PM

G'day kat,

<>26 strings, 3½ octaves ... presumably diatonic (and you have to retune some "accidentals" if you want to play in another key) - although I gather that is the way simple 'troubador' harps were set up.

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 06:10 AM

If you click on "Harps" at the top of the page you get a little more.

The "basic" is diatonic. A next step up model has bridge pins so that "sharping levers" can be added, but only two notes, F and C, have levers installed and can be sharped. Another alternate lets you toss in a Bb(?). There's also a "top of the line" model with sharping levers on all strings.

On the ones that have the sharping levers, since it's 3.5 octaves, one would have to flip 3 separate levers to "retune" 3 "F" strings to get to the key of G and 7 separate levers (3 "Fs" and 4 "Gs" to go from C to D (apparently?) - if you wanted to play across the full range of the instrument in a new key.

For an "Irish" version, one might prefer the:

Flatsicle™ Harp
Flatsicle™ Harps are identical to Sharpsicle™ Harps including the addition of bridge pins on all strings but with modified Robinson sharping levers on the C, F and B strings. This allows the harp to play in 8 different keys without retuning. $534

The strings should take tuning up a note, to D. Using the B sharping lever, which would now be on a C# string to "flat" that string back to C would bring the harp to a G tuning, and flipping levers would give G, D, A, and E for major scale tunings - I would 1think(?).

1 At least that's what I think I would think if I thought about it a bit. (?)

John


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 06:44 AM

Their note range is a very useful one, and if the string spacing is even as they say it is (and if it weren't, I'm sure we'd have heard complaints!) then it looks like the right sort of instrument for your sister.

However, DO be sure to spend a little more and get one of the models with bridge pins and sharping levers. They cannot be retro-added to the basic Harpsicle model and she is going to find it really frustrating and limiting to hit against the barrier that not being able to introduce sharps or flats poses. It's not only being able to change key, it's also using chromatics while playing a tune that needs them (e.g. Carolan's Draught, The Ash Grove etc). I think she will truly regret it in time if she can't retro-fit sharping levers. (Particularly if accompanying singing, which usually needs a specific key.) If she can afford it, tell her to get the Fullsicle - which will also be more saleable if she wants to later finance upgrading to a larger harp.

One point about retuning the instrument a key higher: It's not whether the strings would take it, it's the soundboard! I strongly advise against putting more tension on it than the manufacturer has designed because it adds a lot of stress which will probably either warp the neck (putting the sharping levers out of intonation) or crack/pull off the soundboard. It's also bound to invalidate the guarantee.

Anyway, if you want to play in D, simply use the basic C tuning and put up the C and F levers. This is why it's important to spend a little more and get an instrument that you can change keys with. If you don't want to splash out for the Fullsicle, at least with the two other models, levers can be added at a later date.

I have never played these harps, but they have good word-of-mouth, so it looks like a thumbs-up on this one!


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 07:50 AM

The website does indicate "can be retuned to other keys;" but they give no indication (that I found) of what is a permissible range of retuning. Possibly they're suggesting just "sharping" or "flatting" individual strings, and keeping the same overall range, rather than shifting the whole range as one does commonly with some other instruments (e.g. lap dulcimers).

The price listed for a set of strings is quite reasonable, at $35, but implies fairly "simple" stringing, which may not allow the flexibility in "adjusting" string weights some of us are accustomed to with other instruments.

John


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 08:36 AM

You can re-tune to flats without problems, but if you start adding sharps it puts more stress on the soundboard. Harpers usually tune between a range of Eb (three flats, loosening the tension) and C. More than that and you risk over-pulling the soundboard. However, it's your call.


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 11:09 AM

Thanks, Bonnie and JohninKS!!

Bonnie, you have a good memory. Though, I was asking for myself, asshe has already purchased a harp. I saw these and was daydreaming about when I could I afford one and wondering what folks thought of these. Glad to hear they have good word-of-mouth.

G'day, Bob and thanks to you, too!

kat


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: Bert
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 11:28 AM

Lark in the Morning have some reasonable harps as well.


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: harpmolly
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 11:59 AM

The Harpsicles aren't bad...they are indeed tasty little harps for the price.

I can only caution people about any inexpensive "Rosewood" harps you encounter--if you are buying a harp to actually play, don't waste your money on these. They are made in Pakistan and have the worst tone I have ever heard. Not only that, but they are well-nigh impossible to tune. You see a lot of them on eBay, and they look sort of pretty (although the carving work doesn't hold up to very close scrutiny), but as a player's instrument they are almost useless. My personal instrument-buying credo is this: If they're selling it in an in-flight magazine, don't buy it!

I'd better recuse myself from the discussion at this point before I get myself in trouble. ;) I am, after all, somewhat biased on this issue. (But if I don't actually mention my bias, I think I'm in the clear. *grin*)

Molly


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: harpmolly
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 12:03 PM

P.S. The reason I brought up the Rosewood harps is that there are some listed on the Lark in the Morning site...caveat emptor!

M


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 12:04 PM

Then I'll do it for you, Molly - Dusty Strings, who also make a large range of excellent harps.

:-)


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: harpmolly
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 12:05 PM

Heh heh heh...

*tapping her nose frantically*

;)

M


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: Bert
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 12:32 PM

Molly says ...I am, after all, somewhat biased on this issue...

Well on Mudcat we want to hear YOUR side of the story, so let's have the skinny and then kat will have more info to go on.

If you make or sell harps, let us know what, where and how much. I'm sure we'd all prefer to buy from a 'catter thatn from a big company.


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: harpmolly
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 01:27 PM

Bert--

Well, I work for a company that sells harps. But as I've pointed out before, I'm very sensitive about the "advertising" issue, and don't want to step on anyone's toes...

Anyway. We have a model called the Ravenna 26, which is pretty darn fabulous for the price. It's definitely a bit more than the Harpsicles--it's $595 with no levers, $695 for partial (C&F), and $920 for full. (Case is sold separately and is $95).

The reason I think it's a bargain, even at somewhat higher prices than the really inexpensive harps, is that it's got really good tension, so it has a great bright, crisp sound (and the lowest strings are wound, so you get a nice bass).

Another cool feature is that you can get one with no levers or partial levers and easily get more levers installed later--the holes are pre-drilled. It's still a bit more expensive to get them put on later than to get the harp levered to begin with, but if someone is starting out on a shoestring budget, no levers or partial levers may be all they need for the time being.

Kat--if this isn't in the range you're looking for, I will say that the harpsicles are sweet little things. We had one in the shop for sale (used) for a while, and it was fun to play (though not as bright) because of the lower string tension. Plus, they come in fashion colors! (The Ravennas do too, but it costs a bit extra). Another really affordable small harp is the Tristy Harp from Magical Strings, which is what I started on. I still think the Ravenna is a more satisfying harp to play in general, but as I said, I'm a wee bit biased! (I will say that I have been a big fan of Dusty harps long before I started working here, though...)

Cheers,

Molly

P.S. I just found out that I got a slot to perform at the Dusty Strings Holiday Open House again! O frabjous day! Calloo callay! (It's my favorite gig of the year...)


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: Kaleea
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 03:34 PM

The local harp shop as a couple of them only because there is a local woman who teaches what she calls "harp therapy." (Of course, she herself has absolutely no credentials whatsoever for any kind of therapy or music except for whose which she bestowed upon herself) I have tried the harpcicle. If you are interested in learning to play harp, especially if you may ever be heard by another person, you would probably be better off getting something else.

If there is a Harp shop within a day's driving distance of you, it find old broken down harps & refurbish them & make them into something nice, but less costly. They often will rent one to you or let you rent to own. Much better to get a less expensive used one than a horrid but cheaper new one.


   Molly is quite right about the wretched Pakistani abominations!


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 14 Aug 06 - 07:32 AM

I've never seen or played a Harpsicle, but in view of what Kaleea has said above, perhaps you'd be better to go with the Ravenna. Those I HAVE tried, and they give a beautiful tone, bright and crisp as Molly says.   

I agree with Bert, that when someone is asking for input about a specific type of instrument, those who have information relevant to the topic should not be shy of presenting it, as it's helpful to the person making the decision. Only spamming and blatant self-interested advertising should be avoided, and IMHO it has been.

Kat, do let us know what you decide to get, when you know yourself. Remember, harps tend to keep their value on the secondhand market because a well-made one will last, so if you invest a bit more in it, you will always have something you can trade on. Best of luck!


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: Grab
Date: 14 Aug 06 - 07:49 AM

Re low-cost harps, all these places are in the US. I did a quick Google search for places in the UK and came up with this site. I'm particularly interested in the 19-string kit versions as a way of getting a nice instrument more cheaply (and it being a bit more personal to you, having put it together yourself), although they do have a 19-string one ready-made (with sharping levers) for £125 which is very tempting!

So, all you harping experts. Is a 19-string harp worth having? Or will I find it too limiting?

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 14 Aug 06 - 08:17 AM

My personal opinion - and it is only that - is that you would find 19 strings too limiting. Remember that the smaller a harp is, the less bass it will have (bass strings require length to sound properly) and the tinkly tone of playing only treble strings can get monotonous and limiting musically. (Also see my comments above re semi-tone levers.) The Early Music Shop has been going for a long time, but I have never heard great things about their harps and I lived in the UK for 20 years. However, I haven't seen them so I can't really judge. That photo is of a considerably larger instrument so it won't tell you anything about the 19-string ones.

If you're in the UK, there's a good secondhand buy-&-sell site that might interest you: http://www.affairsoftheharp.com/

Also there are the harp dealers, who do a variety of sizes: Pilgrim Harps (Surrey), Morley Harps (Gloucs or Wilts), Telynau Vining, Pencerdd, and Salvi (all in or near Cardiff), Holywell Music (London) plus a lot of individual makers, many in Scotland. If you Google using some descriptive terms you'll probably find a wealth of them. There's also The Clarsach Society (Edinburgh home base, but has branches all over the place) who could advise you. Their website is http://www.clarsachsociety.co.uk/

Get as large and as good an instrument as you can for the sake of musical freedom and variety. The smallest I would recommend would be the 26 string size (and range) that has been discussed above. And remember the old caveat: You gets what you pays for. VERY true in the harp world.


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 14 Aug 06 - 08:21 AM

PS: Remember when you're imagining the sound of a harp, you will be thinking of the ones you have heard, which are very unlikely to be cheap-o tiny ones. You need a certain amount of length and string tension to get anything like a "harpy" voice and I've never seen a tiny harp that really gave it.


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: GUEST,Val
Date: 14 Aug 06 - 02:59 PM

I've played a Harpsicle as well as some others. They've got quite decent tone and volume for their size and price. If your budget is really tight, or if you want a really compact/lightweight harp that you don't mind receiving mild abuse, they're a good option.

If you can spring the extra $ for the Sharpsicle (sharping levers on C & F) or Flatsicle (sharping levers also on the B-strings tuned to B-flat) you'll have a broader range of keys in which to play without messing with re-tuning.

The tension on the strings is fairly low. You could get away with retuning a few strings up 1/2 step to change keys if you can't afford the levered models - but that's more hassle. (DON'T re-tune the entire harp - just sharp the particular notes) Another detail about the low tension on the strings is you'll want to use a fairly light touch. Plucking with the force normally applied to a big concert harp won't work so well.

I second Molly's comments about the Ravenna - and I'm not associated with Dusty Strings nor any other commercial harpmakers. They are really quite nice instruments, and well worth the price. Dusty has come up with some innovative manufacturing methods to turn out a good instrument less expensively.

Another small harp that has surprisingly good sound is the Triplett Christina - but that's bouncing up into the over-$1000 price bracket. If size is your concern rather than price, consider that option.

If you're even middling competent with basic woodworking, consider the MusicMakers kits. I've been playing their Shepherd lap harp (22 string) for a while, and constantly get compliments on its tone. I highly recommend any of their kits - they are well designed and are relatively foolproof.

As for the limitations of a small 19-string harp, consider this: most melody instruments have only about a 2-octave range. That's 15 notes (diatonic). So at 19 strings you've already got a half-octave more than that! Granted, you may not be able to make it sound like a big concert harp- it's a different instrument altogether. You don't hear someone saying to a violinist "so when are you going to get rid of that little instrument & move up to a full-size Bass?" Different instrument, different techniques to get the most out of it.

I do suggest that if possible you find a way to listen to the instrument you are thinking about buying (live, not recorded) to see if you like the tone. Also remember that harps usually sound MUCH different at the position of the player compared to the sound that goes out to the audience - so have someone else play it while you stand a few feet in front.

Have fun in your harpquest!

Val


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 Aug 06 - 04:33 PM

Thanks, Val and all of the rest of you.

Val, nice to hear of your experience with MusicMakers' kits, as that is what my sister decided on.

It's going to be awhile before I can do anything, folks, but I will let you know when I do. Thanks, so much, for all of your input!

kat


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: harpmolly
Date: 15 Aug 06 - 12:28 AM

I would like to add to Val's comments about the 19-string...

If you are wanting to play mainly melody, then 19 strings should be fine--as she points out, that's more than most melody instruments! The problem you may run into is that it will be difficult to accompany your melody with chords; you might not have enough strings to play a full chord in the bass as well as the melody! (Of course, that's what inversions are for...)
My friend and co-worker Eileen is lending me her little Triplett Zephyr for a bit, and I took it to the park the other day and thoroughly enjoyed playing it (at 22 strings) but I'm so spoiled from the 26-strings I play all day at work that I kept going, "Arrrgh! Where's the bass?!?!". The Triplett is a great little travel harp--the only harp I know of that fits in the overhead compartment on a plane (well, THAT's a moot point at present, anyway!). It's also edging up toward the $1000 mark brand new, though you might be able to find a used one.
What fun this is! I feel like it's been ages since I was part of a harp discussion on the Mudcat. ;)

Heh heh...just for laughs, since we're on the subject of harps, I'm going to perpetrate some major thread creep. *grin* Someone forwarded me a link to a "Make Your Own Superhero" page, and I had a little too much fun creating a heroine I like to call "Harpergirl". If anyone wants to get a giggle, here's the website:

href=http://www.ugo.com/channels/comics/heroMachine2/heromachine2.asp
What you do is click on the little icon of the folder with the arrow coming out of it (when you put the mouse over it, it'll say "Load saved character". Click on that, and a dialog box will appear. Paste the following text into the box (tedious I know...it's not set up very well).:

2.0u*f1*Harpergirl*Hair:Standard,longbraid2,9C4108,6A0108,100,100,23,Eyebrows:Standard,thin2,FFFFFF,6A0108,100,100,21,Eyes:Standard,asian2,034829,034829,100,100,20,Nose:Standard,slash,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,27,Mouth:Standard,thicksmile,FFFFFF,6B0039,100,100,18,Beard:Standard,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,26,Ears:Standard,fraBlank,EFD3C6,EFD3C6,100,100,19,Skin:Standard,fraBlank,EFD3C6,F7EBE7,100,100,6,Mask:Standard,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,22,Headgear:Standard,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,29,Undershirt:Standard,fraBlank,034829,395C08,100,100,7,Overshirt:Standard,vest,034829,5A3410,100,100,8,Coat:Standard,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,25,RightGlove:Standard,flared,F7EBE7,CFCFCF,100,100,17,LeftGlove:Standard,flared,F7EBE7,CFCFCF,100,100,16,Insignia:Standard,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,9,Neckwear:Standard,priest,5A3410,CEA66B,100,100,24,Belt:Standard,sash1,5A3410,8D6531,100,100,15,Leggings:Standard,stripeslong,034829,395C08,100,100,10,Overleggings:Standard,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,11,Pants:Standard,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,14,RightFoot:Standard,forester,8D6531,724D21,100,100,13,LeftFoot:Standard,forester,8D6531,724D21,100,100,12,Back:Standard,flarecape,034829,8D6531,100,100,3,Wings:Standard,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,4,Tail:Standard,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,5,Aura:Standard,music,6A0108,390F7C,100,100,2,Companion:Standard,toad,006938,724D21,100,100,31,Background:Standard,diamond,E7E7E7,B2B2B2,100,100,1,RightHand:Standard,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,30,LeftHand:Standard,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,28,#


***

You should get an image of my creation! I like to picture her vanquishing the foes of traditional music, healing the sick with her magical harp therapy powers *grin* and just generally making the world a better place. Note the red and blue notes floating around her. ;) Also, the frog on her shoulder is a Dusty Strings in-joke (we used to have a t-shirt logo with a frog playing the harp).

OK, enough blathering outta me! Harps Awaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

Molly


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: harpmolly
Date: 15 Aug 06 - 12:29 AM

Oh, how rude of me! Here's a blue clicky to the superhero generator. :)

M


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: harpmolly
Date: 15 Aug 06 - 12:30 AM

Ack! Sorry for the line break fiasco...(sigh)

M


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: Gwenzilla
Date: 15 Aug 06 - 03:09 AM

Hmmm.

This is the first harp thread I've seen on Mudcat for a long time, so *wave*.

I haven't been deeply impressed by the Harpsicle models, but many people love them. And I do think you can make meaningful, accompanied, rich music on a very small harp or a harp without sharping levers. In fact, none of my harps have them.

Of course, I play wire, and nobody on this thread seems to be playing nylon/gut, but who knows: there might be somebody out there. :)


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: Grab
Date: 15 Aug 06 - 07:28 AM

Thanks Bonny, Val and Molly for the harp info. Currently it's an "if I can justify it" thing, since I already have instruments I don't play as often as I should. (Apologies here to my cherished but somewhat-neglected violin...) But it's something I'd love to have a go at.

Unrelated to that, a question springs to mind - why are all the harpists here female? ;-) In fact, I think all the harpists I've seen in orchestras have been female, too. Very curious.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 15 Aug 06 - 09:44 AM

Before you buy an expensive instrument, it's an excellent idea to rent or borrow one to see if you like the feel. The harp, for example, has a lot of visual appeal, but you might find that strings that go out in front of you are uncomfortable to see and play. That's what I found, anyway, and I'm glad I figured it out on a borrowed harp.

With a lap harp, make sure that your legs, lap, shoulders - whatever- permit you to place it, keep it stable, strike it and damp it it all at the same time.

I can't be sure, but I suspect that a bigger harp, which rests on its own base, is a better instrument.


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Aug 06 - 10:34 AM

Good points, leeneia, I am sure. There is a harp factory here in town, though they are too expensive for my budget, if ever I have a budget, that is.:-) I know I can go there anytime and try one out.

Grab/Graham, if you look at the Events pictures from Bill & Allan's Excellent Adventure, when they came to my house in Wyoming, you will see a picture of an excellent male harpist, "Matt Woodbury/Mimosa." He doesn't post anymore, but boy can he play!! Here's a Link to an old thread about his harp-playing and CD.

Molly, I'll take a look at your superhero later today. Looks like fun!


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: GUEST,Val
Date: 15 Aug 06 - 12:19 PM

A few comments on harps & gender:

1. At the San Jose (Calif./USA) Folk Harp Festival a couple of weeks ago, there was a workshop given on "how to get the most out of your small harp". So long as you don't bring your "big harp" prejudices to the smaller instrument, there are fine complex arrangements that can be played. By the way, this seminar was given by Harper Tasche, who is male.

2. Of the hundreds of harpers in attendance at the festival, the vast majority were women. Interestingly, the workshop on harp BUILDING was attended only by men. It seems a cultural bias may still be in effect?

3. Of the men harpers present, almost all were playing small lap harps. Most of the women were playing (and lugging around) larger floor-standing harps. I wonder what's the significance of this? Or, as Freud might say, "Sometimes a harp is just a harp"? [grin]

4. I suppose one of these days I really ought to join Mudcat & fill out a profile. That way people might not simply assume that I'm female. Another interesting example of cultural bias towards a name whose root means "strength". (at 6'4", 300lb, & bearded, I definitely DON'T look like a lady!)

Val
(ps - no offense taken and the gender assumption)


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Aug 06 - 12:25 PM

Actually, I had assumed you were male, Val!:-)Not sure why...


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: GUEST,Val
Date: 15 Aug 06 - 12:53 PM

Hi, Gwen -
I agree that there are many better harps available than the Harpsicles. However for the size/weight and especially price, the 'Sicles are respectable.

The advice to "try before you buy" is always good, and especially so before investing significant $$ in an instrument. The world of folk harps is a chaotic and undisciplined place compared to, say, the world of mandolins or even guitars. (I'm referring to the range of instruments & construction styles, not necessarily the players). There is little standardization of size, performance, or construction technique.

As for playing wire ("rarer and more difficult", as the T-shirt says), I may take that up at some point. There are a few of that ilk around here (San Francisco region). Ann Heymann recently told me she thought I was a wire player at heart (how's that for name-dropping! *g*). I may take up the traditional clarseach in the future, but my current focus is to finish building the harp I designed (31-string, mostly nylon with bass wires) and expanding my playing style to accomodate this greater range - I've been playing 22-string quite happily for a few years.

Keep on pluckin'...

Val


Val


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: GUEST,Val
Date: 15 Aug 06 - 12:55 PM

Kat wrote:
Actually, I had assumed you were male, Val!:-)Not sure why...
--------
Must be all the testosterone creeping (leaking?) into my writing! [grin]

Val


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Aug 06 - 01:03 PM

HARPSICLE? Harpsicle my ass...........

Yeah, well I don't like the stick coming out the bottom, I mean things could get sticky. They're okay for suckers but they leave me cold....................

I'll just be leaving now.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Aug 06 - 05:42 PM

*Warning testosterone leak*!!!

(And I thought you were so sthensitive.)**BG** Yeah, ya oughta join up, Val. Is that in as "Prince Valiant" or "Valdemar" or "Valentino?" Just kidding.

All I want is something small to play around with, harpwise, I mean; you've about convinced me to try one of these when I am able. Thanks!

Spaw, clean up that litter!:-)

kat


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 08:44 AM

I might, for the right consideration, be available to play around with...


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 09:01 AM

I don't think she wants anything quite thatsmall Foolestroupe...............

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 09:20 AM

I could stand on a brick...


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 09:22 AM

... maybe even use a couple of bricks, long as I keep my thumbs out of the way...


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 09:40 AM

That'd be awfully harsh on the camel for the sake of a harp.   

I have no idea where this joke is going...............

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 08:39 PM

YOU started it - can't you keep up?

As the Actress said to the Bishop...

:-)


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 09:06 PM

Too much for me even for only shits and grins. Think I'll stick with the same old seven and six.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Tasty Harps - anyone tried a harpsicle?
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 11:31 PM

Why must you boyz keep harping on your pricks, er... I mean, picks!?


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